Riding for hope

By Nathalie Owen


The Ride to Conquer Cancer is an inspiring 200km bike-riding event, which raises an incredible amount of money for the Cancer Society Auckland.


Cancer survivor Hayley Morrow was one of 633 people who took part in the 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer. Photo: Nathalie Owen.


The two day cycling event, now in it’s second year, supports the Cancer Society’s research centre and will be held in Auckland on the 15th and 16th of November.


John Loof, CEO of Cancer Society Auckland states, “sustaining medical research into the causes and treatments of cancer is a real challenge . . . and this event has the capacity to operate on a scale that can really make a difference”.


Last year’s Ride proved to be an instant success, with 633 participants helping raise over $2.1 million for the Cancer Society Auckland.


Plans are now well underway for this year’s event, with Mr. Loof wanting to make the 2014 Ride to Conquer Cancer bigger, better and more successful than ever.


The Ride has been an incredible source of inspiration and hope for many cancer survivors.


20 year old participant, Hayley Morrow, was diagnosed with Melanoma as a baby and has a rare skin condition called Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus.


Miss Morrow has undergone over 40 surgeries to remove the lesions to help prevent the cancer from returning.


Many people doubted Miss Morrow’s determination to succeed. “A lot of people told me I wouldn’t be able to finish, but that just made me even more determined to do so,” she says. “I want to help raise awareness and to show people I’m not giving up”.

Cancer is New Zealand’s biggest health problem, with 20,000 people being diagnosed every year.


Professor Bill Denny, Director of the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre says, “public awareness and understanding of cancer is very important; informed people can take proven steps to minimise their risk of getting the disease, and if it does occur, can recognise the signs and get it treated early”.


Whilst great progress has been made in cancer treatment, there is still a lot to achieve. Mr. Loof states, “there is never enough money for cancer research . . . so we are trying to support and sustain our research program, which is why the ride is so important”.


This inspirational event brings great awareness to cancer research and is a ride of hope for those touched by the disease.

To register or to find out more information about the event visit www.conquercancer.org.nz or call 09 887 RIDE (7433).



The Ride to Conquer Cancer. (2014). About the ride. Retrieved March 18, 2014, from            http://ak14.conquercancer.org.nz/site/PageServer?pagename=ak14_aboutevent


Ministry of Health. (2012). Cancer: New Registrations and Deaths 2009. Retrieved from  http://health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/cancer-new-registrations-and-deaths-2009.pdf



Resident’s fury over Turua Street continues as Markham plans further development in St Heliers:

Owen                                                       24/10/13                                                  Nathalie’s Journalism Diary

By Nathalie Owen

It has been two and a half years since the demolition of the historic Turua Street houses, yet the residents of St Heliers are still outraged at the loss of the historic heritage buildings.

The Spanish mission houses that were demolished on Turua Street

The Spanish mission houses that were demolished on Turua Street

On January 28th, 2011, seven historic properties were destroyed on the eastern side of Turua Street; including three 1935 Spanish mission houses and the village’s oldest property, a brick cottage built in 1885.

Property developer Mike Markham turned a blind eye to his community’s wishes when he built a 3 story mixed use building on the street.

Mike Markham's new building on Turua Street

Mike Markham’s new building on Turua Street

Resident’s are furious with Markham, who was publically abused in the street due to his decision to ignore hundred’s of resident’s wishes, who hoped to save the historic landmarks.

Save Our St Heliers founder Alex Dempsey states, “The local community was furious… we went out on the street with petitions, people were very, very angry…we had a centre plan in place, we thought we had something that protected the character of our village, and all of a sudden that wasn’t the case”.

Dempsey who formed Save our St Heliers with Sally Hughes, Margret King and Lynne Scott, fought for five years to stop the development. Their cause was strongly supported by locals who rallied together to save the historic properties.

But on January the 28th the battle was lost when the Environmental Council gave consent to demolish the buildings, due to the fact that “there was no evidence the houses were of any heritage value”, as stated in a 2011 article for Stuff Magazine.

Mayor Len Brown states in Deirdre Robert’s 2011 article for Idealog that, “Absolutely everything that could be reasonably and legally be done was done in this case, but unfortunately, that was not enough”.

Dempsey, however, disagrees saying, “The Council were gutless about the whole thing…the fact is we were unwelcome from the moment we stepped in the door…each of those buildings marked the development of the village, they are a snap shot of history and provided the community with ongoing links to the past”.

“I feel that it was something that should have never happened, not only was the process misused against the community, but the community had a development hoisted on it that it clearly did not want”.

Gina Smith, a resident of St Heliers for twenty two years agrees, saying, “I think they do need to keep the façades of some of these buildings… because if they tear everything down there wont be any more historic properties, at some point you have to stop and say we have to save some stuff.” (To see Gina’s full video interview click here).

This, however, is only the beginning for St Heliers, as the peaceful charm of this seaside village becomes clouted with greedy developer’s modern monstrosities. 2012 also saw the construction of another modern building by local developer Robin Sheffield; dubbed the ‘Maheke Monster’, which also caused enormous controversy within the community.

The 'Maheke Monster'

The ‘Maheke Monster’

Now Markham is planning to build on the western side of Turua Street, turning this once idyllic seaside village into a concrete jungle. Local pharmacist Mike Silk, says “When [Markham] eventually develops the other side, I think we will end up with a more vibrant retail centre”.

However, locals fear this could be the end of the village’s unique character and charm, “How anyone could think that these buildings add to a seaside village atmosphere is beyond me” states Dempsey.

But the reality is, with more developments in the works, the village of St Heliers could very likely turn into the next mission bay. Resident’s just hope that this time round the Council will listen to their wishes and protect the heritage of St Heliers.

Want to help save St Heliers? Check out the Save our St Heliers website:

Want to know what’s happening in St Heliers, click here?

Want to know the process of a news story, make sure to check out my previous blog posts!

Images taken by Nathalie Owen and sourced from Save Our St Heliers


Deirdre Robert, (n.d.). Deirdre Robert. Retrieved October 15th 2013, from    http://www.deirdrerobert.com

Deirdre Robert, (2011, January 20). Small respite as crunch time literally approaches for St Heliers Art Deco houses. Retrieved October 15th 2013, from http://www.idealog.co.nz/blog/2011/01/crunch-time-literally-approaching-st-heliers-art-d

Save our St Heliers, (n.d.). Turua Street. Retrieved October 15th 2013, from  http://www.saveourstheliers.org.nz/turua-street.html

Stuff, (2011, January 28). St Heliers Spanish mission houses demolished. Retrieved October 15th 2013, from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4592188/

News Story Format:

I am following the news story format, which means I will follow the classic inverted pyramid style.

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This follows the classic who, what, when, where, why, how structure. The notes on the news story structure also give me some good tips for the new story format.


The reporter’s foremost tool. It captures the reader’s interest immediately. It conveys the main point of the story – who, what, when & where. It is short and to the point – usually fewer than 24 words. It leads off with the key point. It is written in the active voice. It uses plain language. It is factual


The second par MUST refer to what is hinted at in the intro –it expands the intro and the theme of the story. The following pars will cover other relevant points. Further pars will provide background, context or history –what is new comes first.


To give your story added interest you need to insert relevant quotes from your sources you have interviewed. Quotes should be used early in your story. This is usually what is new, and comes before background.


Information generally needs to be attributed to someone, that’s why you use your sources in your stories. A journalist’s opinion is of no account. You must introduce each new speaker at the beginning of the sentence, so readers know exactly who is talking. We tend to use only the verb ‘to say”, i.e. says –present tense, or “said” – past tense. We do not use, believed, felt, concluded, remarked, added etc


You do not need a conclusion to your story. With the inverted pyramid, the least important information comes last.

These are some great tips I will use to ensure I write my article correctly. Now I have established my story telling style, gathered my interviews and research; I will go through my interviews to pick out the best parts for my article and then I will finally start writing!

Weekly Questions Re-Adressed:

I am required to answer 3 questions per week regarding my news topic. I did do this for Tyler Street topic, however, these questions have to be re-addressed to my new topic of Turua Street so I can start writing my article. They are the following – Audience, Style and Facts.

Who is your audience?

Audience’s are a big part of a story. The audience for the Turua Street story varieys quite widely. Firstly I am talking to the cizitens of St Heliers who are all affected by the developments made at Turua Street. Secondly I am addressing people who are interested in protecting the herritage of our landmarks. The issue may also interest developers, as the developers got a lot of flack from the community regarding the development of the building, and also may interest memebers of the Council as well as people who are generally interested in preserving the heritage of our communitys in both the Auckland region and the rest of New Zealand. This highlights how this artilce will attract a large and varied audience.

What is your Story Telling Frame? 

The below information is taken from the ‘Story Telling Frame’ Lecture Notes.

“A frame is a central organizing idea for news content. Frame supplies a context and suggests what the issue is through the use of selection, emphasis, exclusion, and elaboration. As stated by Griffin & Dunwoody (1997), A frame is a tool that helps journalists make speedy decisions about what is worth their attention as news, what to emphasize and what to exclude.” 

We were sent to this website to find out what story telling frame suited out story. I have decided that my story is a ‘News Story’ as it is about an event that has happened, I have relevant sources that provide a wide range of opinions about the event and I also analyses the future implications that the event has on  the future of the community.

So I am following the story telling frame of the:

“Straight news account: No dominant narrative frame other than outlining the basic who, what, when where, why and how”

(NOTE: – However, this is a story that is very controversial and has a lot of conflict. So it could very well fall under the conflict story telling frame as well…I asked my teacher what she thought – and told her I have two different opinions about the event and she said it is a straight forward news story- and to follow who, what, when, where, why and how).

Is there a balance of facts and views in your story?

I have gathered a lot of opinion for my story from sources including, the pharmacist Mike Silk who moved into the building, the resident Gina Smith who has lived in St Heliers for 22 years, Save our St Heliers founder Alex Dempsey and SOS member Lynne Scott. I also have gathered quotes from press articles from Mayor Len Brown and developer Mike Markham.  So I have a wide range of differing views on the demolition of the houses on Turua Street as well as the recent property developments in St Heliers.  I also do have a lot of facts from the articles on the street and also the great information that Alex Dempsey provided me in her interview. I do think I should have more facts though, so may read over articles again and highlight the good information. But overall I do think there is a balance. I am writing in a news story format, inverted pyramid style so I do really need to ensure I have a lot of facts as I cannot provide my own opinion in the story. 

Feedback from Readers:

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to all my readers, I have had some tremendous feedback from you all via the comment section, which is really nice!

So this post is dedicated to you all to say thank you for all your continued support for my article! I can see you are all as passionate about this topic as me! Below are some comments from my readers:

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Thank you so much to everyone!!! And make sure to keep posted for all the latest updates on my article!



I have just been trying to find some good articles on the property developer Mike Markham and Mayor Lenn Brown, I found some great ones, mostly from the National Business Review.The articles are linked below:

Mike Markham Quotes:


“Relieved developer Mike Markham – who had delayed onsite work for a month to allow further heritage assessment – told NBR the challenge had cost “an awful lot of money”. He was glad it was now over and work could proceed.”

“We were right all along,” Mr Markham said.


“Ancona Group’s investment in the project is substantial. A statement to the court last week by Mr Markham said the project costs so far have been $1.5 million, while the overall cost of the proposed office, shops and apartment project stands at $11 million.”


This means developer Michael Markham will be able to continue with the demolition of the controversial buildings and go ahead with plans for a three story mixed-use development which will take up the entire eastern side of the street.

Richard Brabant, the lawyer for the developers Mike and Sandra Markham, said the couple were happy to be able to proceed with their development.

Brabant says the Environment Court was obliged to reach the decision it did because there was no evidence the houses were of any heritage value.

He says he has yet to talk to Mr and Mrs Markham about whether they will seek compensation from the society for the “significant legal costs” the couple have incurred.

Lenn Brown Quotes:


Auckland Mayor Len Brown said on Monday there is no affordable way to save the cottages from demolition.

He had sought a delay to the demolition after councillors turned down an attempt to place a heritage order on the buildings by a vote of 14-7 on December 16.

“Absolutely everything that could be reasonably and legally done was done in this case, but unfortunately that was not enough.”

A letter to councillors from Council Chief Executive Doug McKay said there was no evidential basis to impose or seek heritage orders to protected the buildings.

Buying or shifting the cottages would likely cost in excess of $10m, he said.

“The preferred position is to allow the developer to progress his approved and consented development.

“There is no appetite for spending this amount of money, is the sense I have from feedback to date.”


Mayor Brown said yesterday the developer would only sell the buildings for more than $10 million which made it too expensive and claimed a heritage order was not valid. “That decision would have resulted in the council being taken to court and potentially ended up costing ratepayers millions of dollars,” Mr Brown said.

In an official memo issued by Mr McKay on December 24 he stated there was no “reasonable basis” to halt demolition of the buildings, based on a 2004 heritage report. On Friday the council voted that there was not enough reason to order heritage protection and they could be demolished. Moving the buildings could cost the council $2.5 million and buying the site was estimated at $5 million…

Protest group Save Our St Heliers was devestated by Mr Brown’s decision. It had implemented a roster to keep vigil outside the buildings in case a wreckers ball was to be swung yesterday.

“We are outraged that the mayor states that there have been negotiations that included local residents. At no time have the residents been able to speak to the mayor personally. The talks have all been between the council and the site owners Mike and Sandra Markham behind closed doors,” Save Our St Heliers spokeswoman Dorothy McHattie said.


But it did not take long for the mettle of Brown’s leadership to be tested. First came the Turua St heritage uproar in St Heliers, followed by the establishment of the Maori Statutory Board. Brown says Turua St was about the “ethics of politics”. Instead of backing the community, he backed the process. The developer had consent to demolish the houses and Brown stood by the decision against the wishes of the community and some councillors.


The Mayor has expressed his regret that Auckland Council has apparently not been able to find an affordable way to save three houses in St Heliers despite weeks of hard work and negotiations between the council, the developer and local residents.

Len Brown says he is determined that this kind of issue not be repeated and to ensure the Auckland Plan protects our built heritage.

“Auckland Council’s hands were tied because of decisions of the Environment Court and previous councils,” the Mayor says. “Absolutely everything that could be reasonably and legally be done was done in this case, but unfortunately, that was not enough.

Len Brown says in the end the developer would only sell all of his properties in the area in one block, for a price which included full recovery of costs and margin. “That could have cost more than $10 million.

“While you can’t put a price on preserving our city’s heritage, it is difficult to justify this sort of unplanned cost.”

The possibility of including the facades of the properties in the new development was also discussed, but unfortunately, agreement could not be reached on that either.

It has been suggested that a heritage order could save the properties. “Auckland Council staff spent a great deal of time looking at this, but it was clear the buildings did not have the heritage qualities necessary to issue a heritage order and once again, that decision would have resulted in the council being taken to court and potentially ended up costing ratepayers millions of dollars.“

“We have done everything we could have, given the outcome of the process to date, including the plan change which was handed down by the Environment Court,” says the Mayor. “We will do everything reasonable in our power to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”


I have also found a great article on both the Maheke Monster and Turua Street property.


“If people like Mr Sheffield and Mr Markham are determined to rescale St Heliers then they should expect many members of the community will feel very hostile to their businesses….

Mr Sheffield said yesterday it was incorrect to say he was having difficulty finding tenants for his commercial, retail and residential development.

“I have had enough of the community and the building,” he said.

Mr Sheffield opposed the St Heliers Village Centre Plan that aimed to preserve traditional structures and groups of character buildings.

In 2007 he said it was important to allow development to prevent stagnation.

“I don’t believe you can freeze the built-in environment. Otherwise we’d end up working out of weatherboard fishing shacks,” he said at the time.

Yesterday at the Village Co-op cafe next door to the Maheke St development, St Heliers resident Joan Howie said the new building was jinxed.

“It’s hideous. It’s empty. What does that say?”


My article is going to focus on Turua Street but also mention Maheke Monster and future development of St Heliers – all these articles are great, my teacher Merja said if I found a good quote from Mike Markham or Lenn Brown from an online article I could quote them. Which is great – but this also got me thinking could I contact Mike Markham directly ? Maybe send him a letter or email – I will try and get a quote from him – probably wont be able to though.

Have some really good information now! Almost ready to start writing!

SOS Copyright Images:

When I was talking to Lynne Scott the other day I enquired weather I could have permission to use photographs from the SOS website. She said that would be fine, which is fantastic as I did not have a photo of the houses before they were torn down. This also saves me the trouble of contacting the Hearald to get permission to use images from their articles on the Street. So this is fantastic news, and makes my life a little easier. Below is the photos I will most probably use for my project:

delivering feedback for web


My only concern regarding the images is that they are so small, however, most newspaper images in articles are small, so may still have to contact Herald if I decided images are too small for article. Anyway thats all for now – make sure to keep updated on all my posts and for all the up to minute information you can follow me on twitter here.


I have been using twitter to try and get my followers interested in my conversatsions





This has been great as it has started up some twitter conversations, which is so fantastic to have actual feedback from other people about this very interesting and controversial topic. Below is my conversation with @AmyShaw1994

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I have found twitter a really connivent and easy way to update my readers on my continued progress on the article, this is a whole other topic I am very passionate about – as I am very interested in how social media is now used so much by both the public and industry to find out information, with people announcing things on twitter. Very interesting, but that is a whole other story. Anyway thought I would just do a quick post about my twitter feed. Have a lovely weekend everybody! 😀

Meeting with Lynne Scott from SOS:

Save Our St Heliers  member Lynne Scott

Save Our St Heliers member Lynne Scott

I received a telephone call from Lynne Scott yesterday saying that she had received my letter, kindly asking me if I needed any information for my article. I informed her that I had already been contacted by Alex Dempsey, however, we got talking and she said I could pop round to her house to buy a copy of Metropolitan Magazine, which had a great article on the Turua Street demolition and to discuss the issue more in depth.

So today when I went round, she had all of these great folders with all the press clippings and photographs of the protests, as well as the SOS’s official book of over 2,400 signatures and comments from St Heliers residents about the property developments. It was so fantastic to see all the photos and articles and hear all of Lynne’s stories from the demolitions and hearings and so on. Below are some pictures of the scrap books and photographs Lynne has collected as well as a quick interview on her thoughts about the demolition of the spanish mission houses.


Article about Lynne in the Aucklander


Meeting in town hall, up to 200 locals came out to support SOS’s fight to save Turua Street.


A poster for the meeting shows one of the beautiful seaside villas which were knocked down


SOS protesting to protect the houses on Turua Street


The hearing in which SOS battled it out with developer Mike Markham


The SOS collecting signatures for the petition


SOS on the streets of St Heliers


Article shows Graham Henry come out and support SOS


The three beautiful villas on Turua Street that were destroyed


SOS’s official book of up to 2,400 signatures and comments from St Heliers residents detesting the new property


Image of some of the comments from the SOS Voices book

Below if the interview with Lynne taken via my mobile.